Friday, March 17, 2017

Not Done With Raglan: On To The Bush Retreat

We knew were being booted out of the Raglan Palm Beach Motel yesterday (busy weekend ahead) and we had our next destination chosen and booked, mapped out, stops along the way etc. Until the proprietor decided the re-roofing of the house next door would annoy us too much and cancelled. Fair enough, but late in the day (cognizant of the fact that this is what happens to people who don't want to commit to an itinerary), we needed a new location and none of our ideas was panning out. 

Maybe we're supposed to stay in Raglan a little longer, I thought. So we did, booking an airbnb high among the dense greenery overlooking the Tasman sea. But first a few hours in Raglan, for a flat white, some wharf walking, and a big grocery shop.

Can we trade our president
for your prime minister please?
I said to the lovely young woman from Windsor, Ontario, here on a work visa. She burst out laughing. Sorry, no.

The wharf's a working place and a fishing spot on this gorgeous morning.

Fish on (then off)

Soul Shoes
Leather goods handmade in Raglan since 1973. A beautiful shop with friendly people. More here.
Art chose a new belt.

My attempts to purchase a new pair of kicks were thwarted by size. 

Art purchased a leather fly swatter in this pottery shop, which seems a contradiction. He's very happy, though, as last trip he looked everywhere and couldn't find even a mass-produced version.

It's all about the fish here. You can buy it fried, raw, or smoked. The gurnard will do nicely for late lunch.  It cooks in a flash and is delectably light. 

We never pass up the chance to visit an opportunity shop.  Does anyone use this term in the US?

Last stop: groceries. We have four days of eating ahead. These NZ avocados look excellent, and at US $1.11 are a great price.

Loaded to the proverbial gills, we drive south to Whale Bay on the Tasman Sea:
Whale Bay is a coastal community nestled between Mount Karioi and the ocean, about 8km south of Raglan.  Much of the area around Whale Bay is covered with native tree forest up to the summit of Mount Karioi.  The famous and dramatic gravel surfaced Waanga Coast Road starts at Whale Bay and heads south to Ruapuke between Mount Karioi and the Tasman Sea.  The surf at Whale Bay is world renowned.
We're staying on that famous and dramatic gravel road and for less than the motel room have this fun place all to ourselves. It's called the Bush Retreat but to me it's the surf shack perched high above the indicators surf break and swimming lagoon.

 Bob Marley's keeping us company.

The view from the deck is worth the price of admission and it's a ten-minute walk to the beach. Tomorrow...

After two weeks of inferior kitchen equipment (electric frypans will take you only so far), this kitchen is nirvana.

 Gurnard, salad, and green beans. We're in the right place.

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